Skip to main content.

Many people visit the Emergency Room when a call or visit to the doctor is really all they need. Waiting in the ER is not always the best choice and can cost as much as five times more than a visit to your doctor's office. The next time you're not sure whether to call the doctor or go to an emergency room, consider all of your options as a SummaCare member:

Contact Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) First

Your PCP is your main point of contact for all your healthcare needs. He/she will coordinate your care and work directly with other providers in the network to assure you’re receiving the care that’s most appropriate for you. Your doctor knows your total health history and can treat you as a whole person, rather than just treating your immediate symptoms. Many doctors can be contacted after hours. Some even have evening office hours. Ask your doctor what you should do if you need after-hours care.

Telehealth Services Through Teladoc®

If you’re traveling, it’s after hours or on a weekend, or you just can’t make it to a doctor’s office, consider using our new telehealth services offered through Teladoc®. Visits can be requested 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Go to or call 1-800-835-2362 (TTY: 1-855-636-1578) to set up your Teladoc® account.

Call the SummaCare 24-Hour Nurse Line

If you are unsure if your symptoms are serious enough to wait until your next doctor's visit, call SummaCare's 24-Hour Nurse Line at 800-379-5001 (TTY 800-750-0750). Registered nurses are available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can assist you with specific medical questions; provide guidance on where to seek treatment and offer advice on any health concerns you may have.

Use SummaCare's Online Health Manager

Visit the WebMD Health Manager to check your symptoms, learn about specific health conditions or create a lifestyle improvement plan. Register today to receive personalized information, health news and online health coaching.

Visit an Urgent Care Center

Your PCP is the best person to start with when you’re sick or hurt. Contact his or her office first to see if a visit to an urgent care facility is necessary. If your condition isn’t life-threatening, but needs to be taken care of right away, then urgent care may be the right choice for you. Urgent care centers are usually open after normal business hours, including evenings and weekends. Many offer on-site diagnostic tests. Search for an urgent care center in your network by using SummaCare’s online search

Emergency Room

An emergency is defined as a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity, including severe pain, that a prudent layperson with an average knowledge of health and medicine could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in any of the following: placing the health of the individual or the health of a pregnant woman or her baby in serious jeopardy; serious impairment to bodily functions; or serious dysfunction of any body organ or part. If you experience symptoms that meet the definition of an emergency, call 911 for emergency assistance or go to the nearest emergency room. Search for a hospital in your network by using SummaCare’s online search.